New Standard from Ratio Institute to Drive Transformational Change in Food Industry

An Environmental, Social, and Governance reporting framework developed by Ratio Institute seeks to enhance operational practices, sustainability, and profitability among food retailers.

Santa Cruz, California—July 26, 2022—Ratio Institute’s new Food Retail Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Reporting Standard provides a comprehensive set of criteria for food retail companies to track sustainability performance. By setting a bar specific to the food retail industry, the standard puts companies on a path for bold operational change while enhancing transparency with investors and other stakeholders. Companies can download the standard now and contact Ratio Institute to start their ESG journeys.

Historically, food retailers have tracked ESG performance in disparate ways, drawing metrics from many different voluntary, non-industry-specific reporting frameworks, such as the Climate Disclosure Project and Global Reporting Initiative. This has made it difficult for investors, vendors, non-governmental organizations, shoppers, and other stakeholders to assess food retail companies. Increasingly, stakeholders understand the importance of strong ESG performance and its connection to financial performance. They want food retailers to be more transparent.

The new standard synthesizes and organizes metrics across several well-established voluntary reporting frameworks into an easy-to-implement reporting approach specific to food retail. It is designed to help retailers report in a way that is most relevant to their business operations. It enables companies to set ESG targets and define strategies to achieve targets, while providing insights on operational improvements that increase profitability.

“Equipped with a systematic approach to grade their operations, food retailers can more easily define their baseline and identify the changes necessary for large greenhouse gas emissions and other performance gains,” said Jonathan Tan, Ratio Institute Co-Founder. “This is a huge opportunity to raise the industry’s profile as a sustainability leader. It is also a big profit opportunity for both retailers and investors. Now, investors can easily compare food retail companies against best-in-class performers and make better-informed investment decisions.”

“This is a great first step in defining sustainability reporting in the grocery industry,” said Mark Koppang, Director of Sustainability at Raley’s Supermarkets. “It enables companies to demonstrate their ESG commitment to their team members and customers and improve the industry overall.”

“FMI members are focused on making sure that the same transparency and rigor they bring to financial reporting are brought to bear in their ESG reporting,” said Andrew Harig, Vice President, Tax, Trade, Sustainability & Policy Development, at FMI, The Food Industry Association. “Ratio Institute has created a food retail-focused tool that can help with that process by offering a standardized framework for communicating the metrics, best practices, commitments, and progress on ESG goals that are increasingly important to grocery’s business model.”

To ensure the standard reflects industry best practices, Ratio Institute solicited feedback from food retailers, sustainability professionals, regulators, and vendors during a 60-day public comment period. They are already working with several large retailers and cooperatives to adopt the standard.

Ratio Institute offers a suite of resources and tools that can support retailers in adopting the standard. These include consulting engagements, educational trainings, and The Sustainable Food Retail Certification program. Contact Ratio Institute to learn more.

About Ratio Institute

Ratio Institute is an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to accelerating measurable sustainability and viability in food retail through expert collaboration, industry resources, and practical tools. We work with food retailers, trade organizations, and other partners to create enterprise-level sustainability solutions that reduce costs, optimize internal practices, and improve overall performance. Learn more at ratioinstitute.org.


For further information, please contact:

Jonathan Tan

Ratio Institute Co-Founder

Phone: 805.794.9450

Email: jon.tan@ratioinstitute.org